Singer and songwriter
Interview by Monica De Leon
I want to go to Amanpulo (www.amanresorts.com/amanpulo/home.aspx) in Palawan.
Palawan is beautiful. I’ve been to Coron. Being close to the sea and white sand is utopia. (see www.inflight.ph/the-isles-of-thrills/).
San Vicente, Palawan is amazing because of Long Beach, a 14km stretch of virgin pink sand. When I was there, there were probably about three other people on the beach with me. It was great island-hopping from one white sand beach to another. I would recommend going there.
Capari Resort (www.capariresort.com) in San Vicente was really good. We stayed at my friend’s house but we were in and out of Capari. It’s a beautiful place right by the beach.
One of my favorite things is going up north to Ilocos Norte and La Union, and seeing all the old churches.
Sea Wind (www.seawindboracay.com.ph) in Boracay is my favorite resort. I love the fact that you can walk out of your room and be right on the beach.
My friend owns a resort in Puerto Galera called Villa Halcyon (www.villa-halcyon.com/) and I love going there. They have a dock where I’d sit and listen to the sound of the ocean. It’s really relaxing.
I’m from Batangas City. Even though I grew up abroad, I speak Tagalog and my father has made sure I grew up knowing my roots. I actually wanted to quit school in Hong Kong and go to the University of Batangas.
I really like to just hang out with my friends, watch a movie or laze by a pool somewhere. Sometimes we go to the Makati Shangri-La (www.shangrila.com/manila/makatishangrila) and hang out by the pool. I like to jog and box. Boxing is such good cardio.
I like going to watch the shows of Kat Agarrado (www.facebook.com/KATmagicMusic) and Wally Gonzales. I like going to [progressive alternative music venue] B-Side (+632/ 403 5650) as well. Smart Araneta (www.smartaranetacoliseum.com) is a great place to watch concerts. I think when you play in Araneta, you pretty much made it.
I am a terrible packer. I cannot pack light, but I try really hard. I bring my sunblock, a good book, my music and a lot of clothes. I have a Wanderlust bikini because it’s my friend Maggie Wilson’s brand. I have a Nike bag that I carry with me all the time, and Havaianas slippers. For skincare I use Neutrogena’s scrub, Jergen’s lotion. I like Hawaiian Tropic sunblock and Maui Babe tanning lotion.
If I were to live my life over again, I would still be me. I’m in the place where I really want to be.
My priority now is my singing and songwriting. I’m always listening to a new artist, a new sound, what’s hot, the old stuff.
Our band is called Decibelle, a play of words, combining decibel, which is the unit in measuring sound, and belle, meaning beauty. Our music is sort of new jazz soul with a little bit of trip hop and funk mixed in there. We already have about 10 songs. Hopefully, our album will be done by the end of March at the latest.
I love to listen to people with very unique voices like Maroon 5. Adam Levine has a very distinct voice. I like Beyoncé, Ne-yo, Roisin Murphy, Lana Del Rey is beautiful; Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Lauryn Hill, Usher, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Etta James, The Steeles, Elvis, Prince.
Kat Agarrado is amazing. I also love Up Dharma Down. I see some of my solo stuff has a little hint of their sound in it. I love Bamboo, Rico Blanco, [Fliptop artists] Enigma and Loonie. Enigma and Loonie have been good for hip hop in the Philippines.
I was kind of thrown into TV hosting in the Philippines. I won the competition for Studio 23 and I worked with them for about five years. I didn’t have any training at all.
I’m starring in a movie called The Bride and The Lover by Regal Films with Lovi Poe. That’s what I’m working on at the moment.
Hello Forever, directed by Peter Kirk, an Australian, is coming out this year. It’s an indie film on human trafficking. When I was working for MTV we went to see a safe house for women rescued from human trafficking. It was one of the most heart-wrenching experiences of my life. I expected to see 21-year olds, but instead found 11 to 18-year-olds, illegally brought in and sold to prostitution.
ABOUT KAT ALANO
Kat Alano is half English and half Filipino. Alano kicked off her showbiz career in the Philippines as video jock for Studio 23. Before coming to the Philippines, she did theatre in England, performing in William Shakespeare plays and West Side Story. In 2004, she won the Studio 23 VJ hunt, her first major break. After that, she became one of the co-hosts of local variety show Wowowee. These days, Alano is vocalist and songwriter for her band, Decibelle (Facebook: Deci:belle; Twitter: @decibelleph)
Boys Night Out Djs’ too-hot-to-handle sex topics and sexy games on air has caused furor, but network ratings are high
Interview by Margie Francisco
Photos by Steve Tirona
June-July 2011 Issue
What got you into radio?
Tony Toni: I love music, I needed to pay the bills and no experience was needed.
Slick Rick: I heard this DJ called T Bone — now called Tony Toni — when I was in my first year in college. I took my practicum at the radio station and became a student DJ. Then I got hired in December 2001.
Sam YG: I started when I was in third year college. I just fell in love with the job. Back when I was in third grade, I used to listen to the radio every morning. I’d tell my mom, “Hey Mom, let’s listen to this radio jock T Bone.” And as it happens, I’m blessed to be working with T Bone right now. He’s like the Muhammad Ali of radio.
What were you doing before you became DJs?
TT: I was taking up a business administration course.
SR: I was taking up pre-med chemistry. I thought I was going to be a doctor, but that didn’t pan out.
SYG: Taking up legal management.
What’s a typical day for you?
SYG: Tony, Slick and I briefly meet before the show to discuss segments we’re going to do. We bring up different topics and we vote on what we feel is the best. Slick handles the news, I handle the games like bugtong and whatnot. Research for the show is really important. We still meet after the show at around 10:30pm till about 1am, pre-producing for the show the next day. Sometimes we go out to have a drink, hang out with friends, meet people. This is our typical day, six days a week. Sometimes we’re together seven days a week when we have shows or hosting on weekends.
TT: We’re pretty much in our fifth year so we’re very busy. We have a show on Channel V. We’ve been writing for Cosmo magazine for the past three years. During the day we go to meetings, attend other shows as guests, host shows, do voiceovers. In the studio, those four hours, we’re just hanging out and just having fun. Minus the alcohol, it’s like that.
SR: It’s like how are we going to keep you listening? That’s something we talk about.
Do you consider yourselves celebrities?
TT: We’re more infamous than famous. We’re known for things that we shouldn’t be doing.
SR: We’re known for breaking the rules. And that’s a good thing because no one breaks the rules.
TT: Slick has slept with the most celebrities — he’s done it with those from Channels 2, 7, and is now making his way to TV5. If you sleep with him, he’ll give you an iPad or an LV bag. How could you refuse if he’s giving you an P80,000 worth of bag?
Do you know how many people listen to your show?
TT: No, but I am shocked by the different classes of listeners we’ve attracted. Our radio station [Magic] is an AB station, but we have taxi drivers, jeepney drivers, security guards who recognize us. Who isn’t manyak (or is interested in sexy topics on radio). Most people, whatever class or age, are naturally horny. It’s just that there are different levels of being horny. Like I’m extreme; Sam’s super extreme; Slick’s unbelievably horny! You’d be surprised. We had a five-year-old who called in. We had an 11-year-old named Javi. We had a nine-yearold girl who called in, Angel. We have politicians that listen in.
SYG: Sometimes, there are old guys who’d say, “Hi this is Dave, but don’t tell my wife, ha?”
Tell us about the time the broadcasting association KBP (Kapisanan ng mga Broadcasters sa Pilipinas) suspended you.
TT: The case was dismissed after three years. We were reported — just like Hayden Kho, Hubert Webb. We were accused of something we did not do. We’re not saying that the show isn’t overboard. We are overboard but that was a different time slot. Our first offense was that our show was very malaswa (lewd, distasteful). There was a student who made this school project saying our show was becoming more and more graphic with words. And that project was then given to the KBP. We had a six-month suspension and a total of almost P500,000 in fine. The company paid for the fine.
Would you say you’re the “bad ass” of radio?
SR: I don’t know.
TT: Some people think we’re super pilyo (cheeky); some people think we’re super manyak (maniac); some people think we’re bad ass; some people think we’re real.
SYG: How do people define bad ass? I mean we do go overboard sometimes.
SR: No holds barred. We say what we want. It’s about what comes to our head at that time, at that moment.
Who among you is single and who’s taken?
TT: Single. All of us. I’ve been single for 12 years.
SR: Single for two years.
SYG: Three years. We hang out but no relationships.
Your most memorable show?
TT: [fortune teller] Madam Auring grabbing her ass. She literally grabs her ass in front of us. We asked her if she still has sex and her answer was that she could still go four times a day!
Your most scandalous show?
SR: Every time we have girls on the show, whether it’s the FHM magazine models or [girl group] Mocha Girls, Tony’s super manyak side comes out.
TT: I think I mooned newspaper columnist Tessa Prieto [Valdes] when she was on our show. That was scandalous. Sometimes we do this game of asking girls on the show to grind on the lap of one of us guys. Whoever gets a hard on fastest, loses. And usually, Sam gets horny first. He’s always out.
TT: Oh yeah, Gracia (former sexy actress Samantha Lopez) not wearing panties on the show. She was not at all afraid to show us that she was not wearing any underwear.
SYG: We were the only ones at the station to see this, but we did get a lot of text messages from guys.
Best on-air interview?
TT: TV host Boy Abunda was good. Bading na palaban. (A gay who’s up for a fight). He’s scary. Any question we throw at him, he throws back at us.
SR: He always has a comeback. And he’d look at Sam a certain way, like he was going to attack him or something.
SYG: Singer-songwriter Usher was good. He was super game. Ask anything and he’ll answer them.
SR: [Hip-hop dance crew] The Jabbawockeez — they’re a hilarious bunch! Talking about how they started, how they came up with the whole mask idea. [Wrestler] Batista was fun too. There’s more to him than just being a wrestler. He’s very proud of being a Filipino in the industry.
Who would you want to invite next?
TT: [Television hosts] Tito, Vic and Joey. [Actress-host] Kris Aquino. President Ninoy Aquino. [Comedian] Michael V. [Singer] Ogie Alcasid. [Former president] Erap.
SR: [Impersonator] Willie Nepomuceno.
SYG: [TV host] Willie Revillame.
What’s next for Boys Night Out?
TT: Go into merchandising, endorsements.
SR: I think, going into TV targeting the masses.
ME AND MY TRAVELS
My favorite hideaway…
Tony Toni: I have to say, my favorite vacation spot would have to be Boracay. You can go for Station 3 on the island where it’s wild and crazy to Station 1 where it’s just private. It’s just a 15-20 minute walk.
Slick Rick: Home. I can just relax and not worry about anything or anyone. Sam YG: When I think about hideaways, two places come to mind. Shangri-La Boracay (+6336/ 288 4988) and Club Paradise (+632/ 838 4956-60) in Palawan. Privacy, relaxation, seclusion. Those two are definitely at the top of my list.
My idea of a holiday…
TT: No texting. No emailing. I’m a beach person. And as long as I’m breathing a cleaner air than what we’re inhaling here, that already relaxes me.
SR: Taking my parents to places they’ve never been to. But if I was with someone, I’d take her too! A holiday for me is also getting lost in the city, just walking around.
SYG: Getting lost in the bedroom.
SR: Yeah, but that happens like every night.
Where to go for short breaks…
TT: Spa. I’m actually a home buddy. I can just stay at home with someone, just stay in bed and watch DVD.
SR: I just stay within the city because sometimes the stress of traveling makes me tired and I don’t want to think about it.
SYG: Road trips to Batangas or Tagaytay.
SR: Last real holiday was in Macau with my parents. I had fun hanging out with them for four days and the best part, I paid for it all. My first time to do that for them. Their smiles made it worth it.
SYG: 10 days in Vegas, LA, San Francisco and San Jose. It’s the first trip to the US the three of us went to altogether.
SR: Shangri-La Boracay. You have everything there, why would you want to go anywhere else?
TT: Oh yeah! Private beach, food is great, ambiance is great. Oh, Dakak! Para maiba, Cebu. Plantation Bay (+6332/ 340 5900). It was perfect — man-made pool, the ocean to your left.
Other resorts to recommend…
SR: Bellaroca (+632/ 817 7290, 328 8831) in Marinduque. I wanna go there.
TT: Ambassador in Paradise (+6336/ 288 1541). Discovery Shores (+6336/ 288 4500) is nice.
SYG: Amanpulo (+632/ 976 5200).
TT: You gotta be high rollers if you’re going to Amanpulo. And you better make sure the girl you take there is the one you intend to marry.
TT: Anything with truffles.
TT: Continental breakfast?
SR: Lobster. Steak.
What I take on holidays…
SR: iPod. Because I like listening to music and to audio books. Whether I’m on the plane or on the beach.
SYG: Shades, a book and iPod.
TT: Even when the sun is out, we still wear shades.
SYG: Like three blind mice.
What I bring back from holidays…
TT: Pictures. Pasalubongs.
SR: Tokens from the trip. Videos. I’m a video freak.
SYG: Memories. Always memories.
Favorite travel companion…
SYG: I’d say these guys. Because you know something stupid’s bound to happen. Nasa airport ka pa lang, gera na agad. (You’re still in the airport and it’s already war.)
Who I’d like to take on a trip…
TT: Cameron Diaz. Maricar Reyes.
SR: Olivia Munn. Bangs Garcia. I’d like to take Mila Kunis because she seems like a girl that knows how to have fun and wouldn’t care where we went.
SYG: Armi of Up Dharma Down.
Where to go next…
SR: Bellaroca or Amanpulo. Now if only I can find someone to go with. Hahaha!
ABOUT BOYS NIGHT OUT
Djs Tony Toni, Sam YG, and Slick Rick popularized Boys Night Out, a radio show by Magic 89.9. The triad’s been hosting gigs on TV, and doing multiple commercial endorsements. Of the djs, Tony is the quintessential ladies’ man, Sam YG, the clown who gets the girls with his good looks and humor, and Slick Rick is the voice of reason when the other two start having a little too much fun.
Interview by Margie Francisco
Photo by Daniel Soriano
April 2010 Issue
Which was your best holiday?
Every holiday, to a certain degree, is very memorable. I have no regrets spending time with the people I love. Whether it’s a disaster or not, there’s always a good story in it.
Your favorite destinations?
Boracay, of course. But I also like El Nido and Bohol. In Boracay, you get the beach and you get to be social. There are lots of places to eat, to shop. You can go sun-tanning, swimming. It’s kind of an all-in one package. El Nido’s more about relaxation and seclusion. It’s the place if you want to get away from it all. Bohol is just rich in activities and it’s quite unique. You get to play with the tarsiers, watch the dolphins, and check out the Chocolate Hills. The wildlife there is fantastic!
What is the best hotel you’ve stayed in?
The best boutique hotel in Boracay is Zuzuni and the best general hotel there is Discovery Shores. Perfect service is the key. I don’t mind a hotel not having so many amenities; I do mind when a hotel provides lousy service. For me, helpful staff and accessibility and general cleanliness are key.
What is your favorite resort?
There’s a lot. I guess El Nido Lagen is one of the best resorts I’ve stayed in. It’s down to service again. The staff there are so helpful; they’ll almost bend over backwards to meet any request.
What do you always take with you when you travel?
Aside from cash? Not much. Toothbrush, board shorts, shades, flip flops.
Are you a beach bum?
Definitely. Mountains tend to have a lot of bugs. And I already live in the city so what’s the point of visiting another city? For me, the outdoors, somewhere preferably with water, is perfect.
Your favorite bars and restaurants?
For night life, Makati and any of the locations in The Fort or at Greenbelt. I don’t really go out so much anymore so I’m not exactly in tune with the night scene as I used to. In The Fort, it’s Encore (+632/ 816 3813, 819 5481). Cav (+632/ 856 1798) has a nice wine bar. My favorite restaurants right now include Mamou (+632/ 856 3569) and The Terrace at the 5th (+632/ 729 6860).
What is the most picturesque scene you’ve photographed?
I got some interesting shots of Punta Fuego – really dramatic shots of waves crashing against the rocks. I got really nice shots of Boracay as well, and ironically, of the Taal crater.
How does photography figure in your life now?
Only as a hobby. It started out as a hobby and turned into something professional. For me, I think if I want to keep my passion for photography, then I should keep it just as a hobby.
What was your worst holiday experience?
It’s not the worst holiday but my worst trip, courtesy of this budget airline. Coming from Singapore to Manila, the windshield of the plane cracked midflight so we did an emergency landing in Kota Kinabalu, where there was no service staff whatsoever to help us out and we had to stay overnight in the crappiest hotel imaginable. It looked like the residences of hell. After getting half an hour’s worth of sleep, we lined up for approximately four hours to re-check-in to the rescue plane. For me, I’ve blacklisted that airline forever from my list of carriers.
What was your biggest packing mistake?
I guess just the usual; I forget the toiletries and end up buying them in the destination. But that’s hardly a crisis.
What is the worst hotel you’ve stayed in?
It doesn’t exist anymore. It was back in 1998 in Boracay. It was during Holy Week and every hotel was booked. I ended up staying in a hotel called La Villa Rocha, which was right beside Fridays. And as the name implies, it really was “the village of roaches” and with no running water.
What do you avoid on holidays?
The crowds and hassle. During the holidays, if I travel, I normally like going to destinations near enough to places where I can have fun; but not too close that it’s banging on my door. For me, there has to be a balance between convenience and accessibility and the option to get away and have some peace.
What do you hate about the holidays?
Nothing. Holidays are rare times I spend undivided time with my family. Most of the week, I’m so busy that it’s hard to spend time with my loved ones and holidays give me that moment.
ABOUT VICTOR CONSUNJI
Victor Consunji, founder of general contracting firm Vconsunji and president of DMC Urban Property Developers, was named by Philippine Tatler in March 2005 as the country’s most eligible bachelor. he has gained a name for himself as a professional fashion photographer, but these days photography has taken a back seat to property development and construction, the core business of his family’s DMCI Holdings, a major player in the industry. His new project is the launch of new residential units in Mahogany Place in Taguig.
Kat Agarrado, Vocalist
Interview by Monica De Leon
Home Page Photo by Brendan Goco
My favorite place is…Palawan. I saw the Underground River in Puerto Princesa, joined a firefly watching tour at night in Iwahig River, which was beautiful. Then I went to San Vicente, Palawan, famous for its 14km Long Beach. We stayed at Capari (www.capariresort.com). It’s super quiet and a private resort with great costumer service.
Sagada is the best. It’s got a different energy. I get recharged when I’m there. Unpolluted, and magical with its mountains and rice terraces.
I went caving in Sumaguing- Lumiang Cave Connection in Sagada. When you enter the cave the hanging coffins will greet you. There’s water to wade in, tight tunnels to pass through, sometimes you have to rappel your way through; and it’s pitch black so your only source of light is the lamp you’re carrying with you. But the rock formations are amazing, it’s like you’re in another world. It’s four hours of walking, crawling, climbing but for some reason — I don’t know if it’s the stones or the energy of the place — I don’t get tired.
When in Sagada I always stay at the Greenhouse (+63918/ 403 6571). It’s run by an Igorot family and is not that touristy. It’s just a house with about six rooms rented out to guests and a small garden. It’s basic — no aircon, no electric fans. You don’t need them because it’s cool enough and there are no mosquitoes. And it’s clean. For food, we go out. There’s a lot to choose from down the street. I also recommend Yoghurt House (www.facebook.com/yoghurt.house) and Masferré Gallery Resto (www.masferre.ph).
My favorite vacation was in Bangkok, Thailand. I liked the shopping there, the food, their culture. I stayed at the D&D Inn (www.khaosanby.com/DD-Inn/index.htm) basically because it’s where the movie The Beach was filmed. It’s a backpacker’s place, nothing fancy, very old school but clean. In Bangkok, I went to see temples. At night, it was fun just hanging out. On Khao San Road there were Volkswagen cum-bars run by locals. You should not miss the weekend Chatuchak Market where there are 15,000 stalls set up.
My favorite resort is Discovery Shores Boracay (www.discoveryshoresboracay.com). I stayed in a one-bedroom loft with private Jacuzzi on the second level, and it’s blue moon so the experience was perfect.
For good music, I go to SaGuijo (www.saguijo.com). It’s a place where the new and up and coming and pro musicians alike play. It’s the underground. I always see friends when I go to B-Side Bar (+632/ 403 5650). 70s Bistro (www.70sbistro.com) is where alternative bands play. Radio Sago Project, Kalayo and Parokya ni Edgar play there. Irie Sunday @ B-Side (www.bsidemanila.com) is where you go if you want to go dancing. It’s more of dubstep type of dancing, which is influenced by reggae. And yes it’s on a Sunday and you’ll be surprised how full the house can get. M Café (www.facebook.com/pages/Raintree-Restaurants/360398425113?fref=ts) on Thursdays has got soul music and they have really good djs. And Martini’s at The Mandarin Oriental Manila (www.mandarinoriental.com/manila/finedining/martinis/) hosts different bands that play different music every night. It’s where I regularly play every Wednesday.
I’m in blues mode right now so on my playlist are Etta James, Sara Von Davenport, Amy Winehouse, John Mayer, Erykah Badu. Also on it are Esperanza Spalding, Lana Del Rey, Lauryn Hill, Pasta Groove, Yosha and Chaka Khan.
ME AND MY TRAVELS
You haven’t lived if you haven’t listened to Erykah Badu and Radioactive Sago Project.
After a gig, I normally mingle with my audience. [I stay around sipping my favorite drink] Jack Daniel’s on the rocks or white wine chardonnay.
For instruments and music related paraphernalia, I shop online. Ebay’s the best I also shop at musiciansfriend.com.
My most memorable performance was my performance in Australia. It was my first show abroad and I had the chance to play with living legends Wally Gonzales and Pepe Smith. It was a blast and I went barefoot onstage while performing. The show was in the Blacktown area and attended by Filipinos. The Malasimbo Music & Arts Festival 2012 in Puerto Gallera was also memorable. It was a three-day event set in a natural amphitheater at the foot of Mt. Malasimbo, overlooking the Puerto Gallera bay. The festival combined music, arts, nature and indigenous culture. It’s a perfect moment for Sinosikat? because the original members played again. I really enjoyed that performance, and the crowd and vibe were just amazing.
My favorite restaurant is Adriatico Arms (+632/ 524 7426) on Nakpil Street, Malate because they’ve got my favorite food in the world and it’s the best garlic buttered prawns you will ever have. Try their prawns ala plancha. And I really like the vibe of that restaurant with its old Malate feel. I also love to eat at King Crab (www.kingcrabhouserestaurant.com) in Greenhills. They’ll show you live crabs and ask you how you want it cooked. I love the buffet of Paseo De Uno (www.mandarinoriental.com/manila, +632/ 750 8888) at the Mandarin Oriental Manila. And Little Tokyo across Makati Cinema Square has authentic Japanese you’ll surely love.
The city is too toxic sometimes, it chokes me so I go out of town to unwind. I like driving up to Zambales for its beaches and resorts, and it’s close to Subic where I also stop by to shop. I’d like to travel to Bohol and Siquijor next.
Life and traveling inspire me. I promised myself to travel more this year. In late February, I’m going to Memphis, Tennessee in the US together with my band to represent our country in the International Blues Challenge. After that I plan to extend my stay for a holiday. I plan to go to New York — my first time there — San Francisco, and then San Diego to see my family, and do my tours on a scenic train ride. Friends think I’m crazy if I do that but that’s the plan. And then in April I plan to go to Europe and just jam.
Things I take with me on my travels are my toiletries — L’Oreal for skincare and sunblock — my Billabong two-piece, and stunners, a Rayban and some vintage brands.
Three things I’d like to do before I die are skydive, see Amsterdam and have a family.
I can’t sleep on planes so I read magazines or books or watch a movie. I like Paulo Coelho’s books. I also like Deepak Chopra and reading autobiographical books on Anita Franklin, Bono, and Rebel Heart: An American Rock ‘n’ Roll Journey co-authored by Bebe Buell, mom of actor Liv Tyler.
The most interesting person I’ve met is Dangwa [a local in Sagada]. When I met him in Sagada he approached me and said, ‘I’ve been watching you.’ He’s not normal but he’s funny. He took us to a wake, which was an unusual one because there was singing and dancing it was like a party.
ABOUT KAT AGARRADO
Kat Agarrado (www.twitter.com/katmagicwoman; www.facebook.com/katmagicmusic) is a singer, songwriter and producer, and the vocals behind Pinoy Soul band Sinosikat?. Agarrado’s band has released two albums under Warner Music, Sinosikat? (eponymous) and 2nd Album, that won several major awards in the Awit Awards. Agarrado was vocalist of the year at the 2007 NU 107 Rockawards. She is part of Kat Magic Express, made up of music biggies Sammy Asuncion (Spy/ Pinikpikan/ Kalayo), Louie Talan (Razorback/ Kalayo), Kat Agarrado (Sinosikat/Stick Figgas), Wowie Posadas (Hijo) and Vic Mercado (formerly of Hijo) that won the First National Blues Competition in the Philippines.
Chef Sau Del Rosario
Interview by Monica De Leon
December 2012-January 2013 Issue
My top travel tip is be organized. Travel light so you can take a lot of things back home.
I never travel without my cellphone. I like to keep in touch. I also take mint candies and mouthwash. I always pity the flight attendants who have to face passengers’ morning breath. Other travel essentials are my Khiel’s lipgloss for winter, scarves, and lots of pairs of shoes.
Most of the time I travel alone but my ideal travel companion is someone who likes food, art, walking, and museums.
Paris for me is paradise — the chug-chugging of the train and the smell of smoke coming from it, violinists playing onboard, endless walks while enjoying a baguette.
I spend a lot on accommodation and then I go to small restaurants and hole-in-the walls. You’ll never go wrong with Four Seasons (www.fourseasons.com). Paris has a lot of small hotels like Hotel de Crillon (www.crillon.com), which is quaint. In the US, I book at the moderatelypriced yet comfortable Marriott Hotel (www.marriott.com). If I have limited budget, I go to the Scarlet Hotel (www.thescarlethotel.com) in Singapore. The Metropolitan Hotel in Bangkok (www.agoda.com/Metropolitan_Hotel) is fantastic. It used to be the YMCA that’s now a beautiful boutique hotel with a mix of old and new.
Aside from Paris, which is my second home, my favorite city is Rio de Janeiro. It’s very colorful. I like quiet places too where there are no tall buildings and shopping malls. I like Bangkok, which has a good mix of quiet and busy. I like Asian cities and small cities like Kathmandu in Nepal.
I hate LA and all its subways. I find it boring. I also didn’t like Tokyo because I had problems communicating with people and finding my way around. I found Singapore and Shanghai very artificial.
I am not biased but I think Boracay’s beach is still the best. The quality of sand is amazing. I also like Bali. You hop on a car and shortly you’ll be in a quaint town where they make batiks. Ipanema in Brazil is scary to go to but nevertheless fun especially seeing those bikini-clad tourists.
I splurge on one very good restaurant, whether a simple one or a Michelin-star, when I travel. I also always get myself a nice pair of shoes. I like Italian and Bally’s my favorite.
Good service for me is attention to detail, rolling out the red carpet for you, well, not literally, a big smile, and some pampering. Discovery Shores in Boracay (www.discoveryshoresboracay.com) and Discovery Country Suites in Tagaytay (www.discoverycountrysuites.com) both have good service. At Discovery Country Suites, they not only make up your room, but also leave warm milk and cookies for the night. If for instance you send your torn shirt to laundry, it gets back mended.
When I travel I miss my five cats and three dogs. My housekeeper and sometimes my friends look after them when I’m away.
I love the fleamarkets, clubs, bakeries, eskinitas (sidestreets). For the five years that I’ve lived in Paris, I’ve only been to the Eiffel Tower once on my third year when a visiting friend asked me to go. The Louvre is different though. I love it and have been there for like 14 times. I also stop by a church whenever I travel to give thanks to God.
My best holiday was my recent one with family in the US. I never liked the US but last January, I visited my parents who are based in Vegas. We celebrated the New Year at the Napa Valley, and toured around LA and San Francisco for three days. There were 12 of us in all, including my pamangkins (nieces, nephews), packed in a car, singing, teasing each other, relishing memories when we were young, and literally crying. We had degustation in LA and went to a pier to hang out in San Francisco, where we also took pictures of us at the Golden Gate. When we were in Napa, we got too drunk and couldn’t leave the place to drive out because of cops who were on guard.
My worst trip was in Dabaka, Bangladesh for a job interview. Outside the airport, two kids were literally pulling my suitcases from me so they could carry it for me to give them a tip. When I reached the car service, impoverished kids enveloped our car and started pounding on the windows, begging for alms. The car was covered with people and couldn’t move. It was scary. When I got to the hotel, even without the interview yet, I had decided that I couldn’t live there. Later that day I got dressed and went out. A guy started taking interest in my sunglasses. At first it was just one guy, then his friends came ‘round. I ran back to the hotel and was told by the GM never to do that again. I shortened my trip to three days and flew out to India.
When traveling, what I hate are the airports, connecting flights, long traveling hours, flight cancellations, bad service, bitchy stewardesses, bad facilities, no napkins, no internet connection, exaggerated security.
I’ve always liked going to Spain for its food, the religiousness of the people, the way of life. Barcelona never sleeps. It’s restless. I always like visiting the northern part of Italy like Florence and Tuscany, its capital city Rome, and Venice, which is magical and charming. Sardinia has some of the most beautiful beaches.
I feel safe in Bangkok. I like shopping there. Phuket is wonderful. It’s got the Koh Samui (www.kosamui.com), and Krabi, which has beautiful beaches.
I eat anything that’s strange. I’ve eaten insects in Bangkok, frogs in France, and rabbit stew and bull’s testes in a restaurant on top of a mountain in San Moritz, Switzerland.
My most memorable meal was when I was still a student in France. I was poor, almost penniless. I worked in a two-Michelin star restaurant. From the kitchen I would sneak out some foie gras and cheeses, and buy bread and cheap wine, and these would be my meal for three days. On days off, I’d buy a whole poulet roti chicken, which I’d eat for two-three days. In Shangri-La I met Chef Alain Reix. I took him around Manila. He gave me his number, which I kept for about seven years. He told me to call him when I visit Paris. And I did. He took me to Le Jules Verne (www.lejulesverne-paris.com) at the Eiffel Tower for a fine degustation meal. I had lobster, scallops, steak and good wine. The best part was he hired me.
I love Asian flavors. For Chinese, I go to Shang Palace at Shangri-La Makati (www.shangri-la.com/manila/makatishangrila), and Summer Palace at Shangri-La EDSA (www.shangri-la.com/manila/edsashangrila). For Thai, Dusit Thani Manila’s Thai restaurant (www.dusit.com/dusit-thani/dusit-thani-manila), Azu Thai (www.azuthai.com), People’s Palace (www.peoplespalacethai.com) and Som’s (+632/ 836 0075), a hole in-the-wall in BelAir in Makati that always gets packed with diners. For Filipino, aside from Villa Café (www.villacafe.biz), I like Milky Way (www.milkywayrestaurant.com), Via Mare (www.viamare.com.ph), Abe’s (www.ljcrestaurants.com.ph/abe) and some provincial restaurants in Pampanga like Everybody’s Café (+6345/ 860 1121). I also get Filipino food from a Filipino carindera in Rue de Passy in Paris where they sell banana cue, lugaw (local risotto), pinakbet (veggies stewed in shrimp paste). In Singapore there are also Filipino food sold at the Far East Building. I love the Roman pizza in Europe. I also like Italian food, which is the safest to get in any country.
I’m like a trader. When I travel I always take home spices, rock salts, vegetables, kitchen gadgets, post cards. My house is full of stuff from my travels — train tickets, small paintings, magnets on my fridge.
CHEF SAU DEL ROSARIO is launching this December his first book entitled Joy: 20 Years of Cooking. Del Rosario describes his coffee table book as “a story book with 60 recipes I’ve created through the years.” Co-authored and edited by San Hontiveros.
ABOUT CHEF SAU DEL ROSARIO
Chef Sau del Rosario runs Villa Cafe (www.villacafe.biz/v1/) together with his business partner Chef Jam Melchor. Del Rosario trained in Nice, France, under Michelin Chef Christian Plumail of Restaurant L’Univers then later worked at the three Michelin star Restaurant Le Divellec in Paris. Prior to his stint in France, he worked at the Peninsula, Shangri-La, Westin and Hyatt in Manila. Del Rosario is a Hotel Management graduate of UP Diliman. He was nominated Best Chef of the Year for two consecutive years at the prestigious Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets’ Awards (www.mbkrsawards.com).
Interview by Monica De Leon
October-November 2012 Issue
My typical day is erratic. I start the day sweeping the yard, and cleaning my car. It’s my exercise. I used to have vintage cars, but now I only maintain one. I start my morning with coffee; more coffee the rest of the day; and coffee before I go to bed.
I research characters I mimic onstage, right down to the right glasses and wigs, and tailor-made clothes. I have a stylist for the wigs and a prosthetics artist. I sometimes spend P25,000-P30,000 (about US $581-$698) just for one pair of eyeglasses.
I do my maths to see if it’s worth spending on a character Iike Erap (nickname for former Philippine President Joseph Estrada), or Pnoy (Philippine President Benigno Aquino III). Presidents go for a term of at least six years so that’s a good enough period for me to get back my investment.
I try to analyze which part of my character’s face or body stands out. I had to recreate Dolphy’s nose in prosthetics.
I’ve always been part of a coffee shop forum like Samahang Plaridel, the former Kapihan sa Manila breakfast forum at the Manila Hotel that’s now the Samahang Plaridel at the Diamond Hotel, headed by Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Neal Cruz.
People can usually catch me at the Music Museum (www.musicmuseum.com.ph). I start with one or two shows and then more people hear about it, and we’d have several repeats. So far we’re pretty successful. I don’t maintain a publicist.
I’m a social commentator in a sense but I always find room to inject entertainment. My “commentary” has to be humorous. But I bite too. My last show Presidentiables’ Gut Talent presented all the candidates as contestants in a talent show. Erap did a magic show; Gibo levitated; Villar rapped.
I do [Ferdinand] Marcos with a passion. I have an unfinished mission and I think people should be able to remember martial law and what bad it has done to our country. Marcos didn’t get piqued. Those who got piqued were his followers, the generals. I once emceed a fiesta variety show in the town plaza in Paoay and Marcos together with Imelda and some foreign guests came. Then someone started shouting: ‘Marcos, Marcos…’ [requesting a performance]. So I did Marcos and Marcos and then First Lady and their guests laughed very hard. I think Marcos had a good sense of humor but nevertheless, I sort of kept my distance. He wanted to have a picture taken of just the two of us. ‘Siguro, ikaw yung Marcos number two’ (perhaps you’re Marcos number two), he said.
Dolphy is well loved so when I do him, I enjoy it because at least for a fleeting moment, I am the comedy king. Or Erap because he’s also a lovable character.
Work has taken me to the US, Europe, Canada, Australia, as far as Iraq… practically all over.
I like Rome. It’s a walking city. So instead of eating at the hotel, I’d go to a corner store and ask for a pizza wrapped in a newsprint, and then I’d walk and see those fleamarkets that sell antiques, the sidestreet musicians and performers, painters. I enjoy watching people. Tourist spots are not my trip.
In Paris, I made three failed attempts go to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa. One was on a Wednesday and it was closed on Wednesdays. The next time, it was under renovation. And the third, I came at closing time.
I enjoyed Bohol’s Chocolate Hills. I had all the free time so I savored the view, the walking around.
I enjoyed the first time I went to Boracay. The beach was empty. There was no electricity and lots of mosquitoes. The next time I was there I was kind of frustrated because the sand hardened from too many tricycles (three-wheeled motorized vehicles) plying the area and the establishments were eating up the beachfront. Such a loss. The last time I was there, I felt I was in a mausoleum. Very beautiful hotel but I don’t think it blends in with the tropical setting. They may have an exclusive beachfront but it’s far from White Beach where the action is.
One of the resorts I fell in love with was on Panglao Island in Bohol because it’s quiet. I also enjoyed Shangri-La’s Mactan Island Resort and Spa (www.shangri-la.com/cebu/mactanresort). In fact, I spent New Year’s there with my family.
I like quiet places, nature. The first time I went to Tagaytay Highlands (www.tagaytayhighlands.com), I was impressed. I haven’t been there in a long time so I don’t know if it’s still the same.
I hate airports and don’t want to suffer the misery of being in an airport, so I pack light. Sometimes I only take three pairs of jeans even if I’m staying abroad for a month. The hotels supply toiletries so why take those?
My hometown is Marikina. The sapateros (shoemakers) in my town have their own activities like racing, running, all sorts of games. So there’s a feeling of being in a community.
What keeps me fit these days are cigarettes. I used to run every day for an hour, followed by an hour of tennis. But after I got an injury I stopped for a while and then it became forever.
A few restaurants have stuck in my mind because my parents took me there when I was young and it’s always been nostalgic going back there for a meal. Ma Mon Luk has a branch in Banaue, Quezon Avenue (+632/ 712 3560) and Quiapo but Quiapo is kind of chaotic. There’s Max’s (www.maxschicken.com), Savory. I still go to Aristocrat (www.aristocrat.com.ph/) on Roxas Blvd for their barbecue. It’s a place to go to.
I can’t name a place now that’s truly Filipino; it’s all pseudo. Someone serenading you with a guitar is not a novelty for me. It’s highway robbery. Villa Escudero (www.villaescudero.com) comes closest to an authentic cultural experience.
As long as the people are ready to see me, watch me perform, I won’t retire. George Burns missed his 100th birthday by a year. And he was still performing and still loved by the audience.
MY FAVORITE THINGS
TV Shows: I watch Kings of Restoration, Pawn Stars and American Pickers because I love old things. I just restored my jukebox. It’s a 1956 Seeburg VL 200.
Places of Interest: Galleries and protest concerts.
Newspaper Read: As much as I hate it, I read the entertainment section. From time to time, columnists Neal Cruz or Conrad de Quiros.
Interview by Monica De Leon
September 2012 Issue
I started dance training at the age three and became a ballet scholar at seven. But it was only in 1998 — I was about 15 then — when I joined Ballet Manila (BM) that I started taking my dancing seriously. Ma’m Lisa Macuja — BM’s artistic director and principal ballerina — spotted me while training under my former teacher and asked if I could join her company.
As principal dancer, I arrive at the studio around 12 noon to get ready. We start class at 1:30pm and then it’s rehearsals from 3pm till 6pm.
I do about 300-350 performances here and abroad in a year. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday we give a 30-minute show for the people at Star City (www.starcity.com.ph).
Dancing has taken me to many places. My first time to perform abroad was at the Youth Festival in Scotland in 2004. I’ve been to the US twice, South Korea, Taiwan, Cambodia, Ireland, London, and Singapore.
We held an East Meets West Gala Tour in London in 2011 and the people there loved it. We showed people through dance a bit of our culture. The show ended with a standing ovation. It was overwhelming.
If you are looking at going to a ballet, watch out for young stage artist Candice Adea, a principal dancer at Ballet Manila. She won first prize at the Helsinki International Ballet Competition held in Finland last June.
Don’t miss Ballet Manila’s Don Quixote and Swan Lake performances. We sometimes hire the best artists from the Royal Ballet in London or from Mariinsky (Kirov) in Russia.
This October, Ballet Manila (www.balletmanila.com.ph) has invited Mikhail Martynuk of Kremlin Ballet to dance Don Quixote and partner with Ma’m Lisa. And then for Giselle, David Makhateli from the Royal Ballet in London will dance as Albrecht opposite Ma’m Lisa as Giselle. And there’s Carmen. It’s also going to be the last time Ma’m Lisa is performing full length ballet. And then we’ll have Cinderella for Christmas, and Ballet and Ballads by February, marking the end of the season.
For cultural shows in the Philippines, go to the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP (www.culturalcenter.gov.ph)) or the Manila Metropolitan Theater (MET(www.metmuseum.org)) for good live performances.
I dedicate 90% of my time for ballet and 10% for personal life. We only have one day off a week. I usually spend my day off resting at home. I go to the mall sometimes.
During my month-long June holiday, my husband, who is also a dancer at BM, and I went to Hong Kong. We went to Disneyland and coincidentally took a ballet class. It’s weird because it was supposed to be a vacation.
When traveling, I pack my ballet stuff first, then my everyday outfit, which is typically pants and shoes, t-shirts, polo shirts or polo. I also take my passport, cellphone and knee support because I have a knee injury.
I love Boracay. It’s simply beautiful, like paradise. Whenever I go there, all my problems go away. Ma’m Lisa’s family has a house there where we usually stay. Their house help cooks seafood freshly bought from D’Talipapa market.
In Boracay, things that I love are Jonas’ milkshake (Boat Station 1, White Beach), scuba diving, parasailing and banana boat riding. I like hanging out at Cocomangas (www.cocomangas.com).
I love the Manila Hotel (www.manila-hotel.com.ph) because of their facilities. I also like Edsa Shangri-La (www.shangri-la.com/manila/edsashangrila). Very beautiful inside and out. We usually perform there.
I love Manila’s people and their hospitality. I hate its pollution and the heavy traffic.
My quick fix if I need to trim down are going for high-in-protein-food paired with half-cupof-rice-only for lunch, and garden or Caesar salad for dinner. No in betweens.
We order our dancing gear online (www.discountdance.com) because it’s about half the shop price here and they have more designs. Star City artists make our costumes.
For dance schools — I am partial — but best to go for Ballet Manila if you are serious about your kid learning professional ballet. Perry Sevidal Ballet School or Steps Ballet School, both in Makati, are both good for leisure ballet.
My short term goals is to have a baby. I’m pregnant! I’m expecting to deliver by summer next year.
I was expecting to debut Giselle this year — it’s the only A-list classical ballet I haven’t done — but I got pregnant. I’ve done everything I wanted including Le Corsaire, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet.
In five to 10 years from now I think I’d still be dancing. Or teaching.
ABOUT MYLENE AGGABAO-SALGADO
Mylene Aggabao-Salgado is a principal dancer of Ballet Manila, alternating with renowned Philippine prima ballerina and Ballet Manila founder Lisa Macuja, who is her mentor. Aggabao competed at the semi-finals of the 4th Seoul International Dance Competion; 4th Shanghai International Ballet Competition, both in 2007; and 9th Asian Pacific International Ballet Competition in 2003
Interview by Monica De Leon
July-August 2012 Issue
A typical day for me in Singapore is getting up early for morning training, which is usually running and/or swimming. In the evening it’s either weights, yoga or plyometrics depending on time. I practice ultimate Frisbee three times a week and American Football on Saturdays.
In Singapore my schedule revolves mostly around work and studying music and artists.
My favorite bands are Pantera and Fear Factory. The Pantera show at Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio was like seeing a bowl of ants swarming a candy bar. Imagine 10,000 people in a mosh pit trying to destroy one another. Chaos.
My current workout playlist includes Stan Bush-Fight To Survive; Fear Factory-Self-Bias Resistor; Pantera-Domination (Live @ Monsters Of Rock); Kjwan-Invitation; Phil Collins-Sussudio; Red Hot Chili Peppers-Freaky Styley (Album Version); Ferry Corsten-Rock Your Body (RenniePlgrem Remix); Slapshock-Point Blank; Mizz Nina Feat. Flo Rida-Takeover; Meek Mill-Ima Boss (Remix).
My mom took me to the Philippines when I was eight years old. It was total culture shock. I remember how scared I was sitting in the front seat when my kuya (brother) drove us up to Baguio City for the first time. This was before any of the tollways so you had to counter-flow to make any real progress. It was total madness. My cousins could see that I was a fish out of water so they did their best to make me feel better. We played basketball all the time.
I love the road trip going north to Baguio. When I was 18, all of my relatives and I travelled up north and stopped at every spot along the way. I remember my cousins and I risked our lives and scaled a mountain in Benguet up to this Marcos head statue, which I don’t think is there anymore. (Visit http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asiapacific/2612709.stm) My mom thought I was nuts. Those were fun times.
I’d like to visit Palawan again soon. I’m a nature tripper so the Philippines and the rest of Asia are a dream come true. And one of my dream destinations is Monaco to watch the Formula One Grand Prix with my father.
For short breaks, I head back home to do the laundry!
The music and arts scene are always in bloom in my hometown in Dayton, Ohio. Columbus is just a short drive from two massive theme parks, Cedar Point and Kings Island, which have some of the most ridiculously insane roller coasters you’ll find anywhere.
Try and visit as many art galleries and museums as possible in Europe. It’s the best place in the world to just pack a backpack and get lost in for months.
My mother and father used to take me on cross-country road trips all over the US and Canada. We had this massive powder blue Ford Econoline van with no air-conditioning that my dad would drive nonstop 16 hours a day on every highway and bi-way. There’s so many random things to see in small towns all over the place. I remember we drove through locust swarms in the US State of Montana and the radiator cooked the locusts that flew inside. What a mess it was trying to clean that up!
Every vacation gets crazy one way or another. My parents took me on a cruise to The Bahamas and Jamaica when I was 15. My parents both fell violently seasick and I was too young todrink or go to the casino. And at that time I was still too smart to go looking for trouble! I do remember the vibe in Jamaica was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before.
There’s so many good hotels all over but I do have many good memories at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
My favorite travel brand is a Tumi bag that my friend got for me. It’s the same brand that Rocky used in part 4 of the movie [Rocky] when he travelled to Russia to fight Ivan Drago.
I cannot live without a good pair of shades and an iPod. I would love to live without mobile phones and internet again.
Five or 10 years from now, I’ll probably be somewhere saying, “Wow where did the last 10 years go?” because time really flies! I hope to be challenging myself in some crazy new way wherever that may be.
ABOUT RICH HERRERA
VJ Rich Herrera is the new face of MTV Asia. You can catch him on The MTV SHOW on Saturdays at 1pm. On July 14 see more of Rich at the MTV World Stage Live in Malaysia, a crazy show expected to attract 15,000 fans with such headliners as Justin Beiber, Jay Park, Mizz Nina, and KPOP Girl Group KARA. Rich is one half of the duo that won the 2010 Amazing Race Asia, representing the Philippines. More on Rich at http://www.mtvasia.com/mini/vj-rich/
Mom and Model
Interview by Monica De Leon
June 2012 Issue
What keeps you busy these days? schedule revolves around my family. I have three girls–a six-year-old, a two year-and-eight-month-old,and a five-month-old.
What’s your typical day? I get up in the morning at about 6:30am, wake up my daughter, have breakfast, take my daughter to school, come home, put in about an hour of exercise. And then at certain days of the week, I take my other daughter to the play class and stay with her and then we come home for lunch, then I would pick up my eldest from school, come home, do something with them in the afternoon. And then we have early dinner usually about 6-6:30pm.
Where do you like taking your kids? I like to take them outdoors and be in touch with nature.My second daughter likes to go barefoot, and to lie down in the grass. We planted some tomatoes in the backyard, planted a few herbs, took care of caterpillars till they turned into butterflies. My kids go running, ride the bike, swim, play in the playground.
Where do you hang out? Aria at The Fort. There’s a good grassy area outside where the kids can play and run, and the food — pizza, pasta — is perfect for kids.
Where do you go for short breaks? We like to go out of town. Just yesterday, we were at The Farm. We love the vegan restaurant there and there’s fishing. My kids swam while it’s raining, made a mandala, floral arrangements in the water, learned soap making, fed the ducks and peacocks.
For long breaks? We usually go to the US every year. We go to San Francisco where I’ve got family and friends. It’s really domestic life there — I go to the groceries with my husband; I cook at home. We usually travel with just the nanny and the kids. And then we take the kids off to Disney Land. We also visit families in neighboring Ojai, a suburb with maybe a few cafes, and two or three boutiques. People go around in horses. Everyone knows everyone. And there are orchards, mountains, ranches and pink sunsets.
What’s your most memorable holiday? The one I took with my husband, who was my then boyfriend, a European holiday two years before I had my eldest daughter. And there’s the first trip we took with our eldest daughter, who was then seven months old, at Lake Tahoe in San Francisco.
What do you pack for travel? My camera and chargers, iPhone, iPad for the kids, sneakers and comfortable pants, one coat and a few sweaters when I travel to the states, and my facial wash and moisturizer, a brand called Josie Maran (http://josiemarancosmetics.com/). I use Argan Cleansing Oil at the end of the day. And then I’ve got Derma E (www.dermae.com), and another one by DeVita with SPF that I use everyday.
Where do you go to dine in Boracay? I go to Aria for arugula pizza, Hama for salmon sashimi and khani salad, True Food for Indian. Lemoni Café has very good eggs Benedict with smoked tanigue. I usually have Café Del Sol’s Mediterranean breakfast. On some mornings I go to Real Coffee for pancakes and homemade yoghurt with fruits. Discovery Shores has a yummy restaurant called Indigo. I also go to Shangri-La Boracay. And Dos Mestizos for Spanish and the bacalao.
Your favorite resort in the Philippines? I like Shangri-La Boracay because there’s a good playroom my daughters love and good restaurants. They have a killer pool, and a beach.
Where do you shop for clothes? For gowns, it’s always Rajo Laurel. For casual wear, Zara, Mango, GAP, Banana Republic.
What about shopping for your kids? Gap Kids has good stuff, Mother Care, Rustan’s for clothes. For toys and educational stuff, Hobbes & Landes. Fundamentals, which is really nice and has a lot of educational stuff, just opened at Bonifacio Highstreet.
Where do you shop for your kitchen and household? I have a cook but I can cook. I plan the menu. We get everything from Healthy Options, and go to Market Market for fruits. We get our produce from EchoStore, the Organic Market in Salcedo, Rustans. For house cleaning stuff, Echo Store.
ABOUT BIANCA ARANETA-ELIZALDE
Bianca Araneta-Elizalde, one of the Philippines’ commercial models, is now a full-time mom. She also helps with the promotions of family-owned restaurants in Boracay, including the promotions of Aria, Hama and Cafe del Sol.
Chris Tiu or Christopher Alandy is a Filipino professional basketball player, playing for the Smart Gilas team
Interview by Lei Chavez
Photo by Philip Sison
December 2011 Issue
What kind of discipline does your sport require?
No going out during tournaments. I try to catch up with family and friends during the off season.
What’s your most important job these days?
My stint as the appointed captain of the Smart Gilas Philippine national team. The ultimate goal is to make it to the Olympics, which unfortunately we missed out on.
Do you still have time for vacations?
I love vacations. I go mostly on short trips. I fly a lot. Last year we went to practically every country in preparation for various international competitions. I also travel abroad when I want to watch concerts or to relax and have a holiday with my family.
Where do you normally go on vacation?
I go to Boracay once or twice a year during the off-peak season. I like to visit Vancouver for the best Chinese cuisine. I eat and sleep, enjoy nature. It’s a wonderful place to live in. They also have fine Japanese food. If I want a vacation from work and to party and unwind, I go to Shanghai and Singapore. Shanghai is very cosmopolitan and I have friends there. My favorite club is M1nt Club (www.m1ntglobal.com/club-shanghai). There’s also VUE Bar (+8621/ 6393 1234) at the Hyatt, over at the Bund. And the Shanghai skyline is really beautiful. In Singapore, I like Ku Dé Ta (www.kudeta.com.sg). In Boracay, I only stay at Discovery Shores (www.discoveryshoresboracay.com) where I get pampered. There are restaurants we frequent in D’Mall area for barbecue. There’s Cyma, Aria. There’s also Kasbah (www.kasbahboracay.com), a Moroccan restaurant beside Discovery Shores that I love.
What do you take with you on your travels?
I take my iPod, my books, my rosary and gym clothes.
What’s your favorite foreign and local destination?
Locally, Tagaytay Highlands. They have a golf course and I love golf. I love eating at the Highlands Steakhouse and China Palace.
Name a place you’d like to visit.
What’s your idea of paradise?
All I want is food, a good hotel or resort, good service, privacy, nice view, and security.
What’s your favorite outdoor activity aside from basketball?
I love golf and jet skiing.
Your next destination will be…
Davao. There’s a store opening in Adidas and I’m one of the endorsers. Since I’m there, I might as well enjoy the city, the nightlife, the beaches. I’m gonna do the white water rafting again. I hear there’s a zipline so I’m going to try it.
Name 3 restaurants you’d recommend people to try.
Antonio’s for breakfast. I like their corned beef. And Highlands Steakhouse (Tel: +6346/ 483 0818). I also like to hangout at the Peninsula Manila’s The Lobby (www.peninsula.com/Manila) with the orchestra playing.
What are your plans for 2012?
It depends on whether I’d still want to stay in the National team or if they’d want to keep me. There’s no major national competition from January to May. So maybe I’ll focus more on media and my TV shows.
Chris Tiu or Christopher Alandy is a Filipino professional basketball player, playing for the Smart Gilas team. He hosts GMA 7’s Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and
occasionally models. He is also barangay councilor of Bgry. Urdaneta in Makati City.
He holds a degree in Management Engineering and Applied Mathematics from the
Ateneo de Manila University.